Today Kelly Jackson from the Kelly Jackson Mystery series is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Murder in the Wine Country, the latest novel in the series.
Welcome, Kelly. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
The most recent book I live in is Murder in the Wine Country, and it’s the sixth book in the Kelly Jackson mystery series. I’m Kelly, an executive administrator with Resorts International. I originally came to the small town of Redwood Cove, located on the coast of northern California, on what was to be a temporary assignment. I took over the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast after the manager had what appeared to be an accidental fatal fall from a seaside cliff. It was a straightforward assignment until a crime-solving group of senior citizens, the Silver Sentinels, cried murder. Thus began my adventures in the first book, Murder at Redwood Cove. The type of mysteries I am involved in are often referred to as cozies. My author, Janet Finsilver, prefers to call them safe whodunits. What she means by that is there is no graphic violence and the main characters won’t die. They will always return.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
I get a say as well. I especially like to talk about the books late at night. That’s when I get a lot of my ideas. I’ll often wake Janet up in the early morning hours to share my thoughts with her. She keeps a pen that lights up and a notepad next to the bed. She’s really good about taking down what I dictate to her even though she’s not completely awake.
How did you evolve as the main character?
I had the attributes Janet wanted in her main character. I’m honest, loyal to my friends, and love animals. I’m always willing to help when there’s someone in need.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
I like sharing the stories with all the regular characters in the series. They’re all good people. The employees who work for the company are a pleasure to be around. I meet regularly with the Silver Sentinels who care about their community and each other. As an added bonus, I have ten-year-old Tommy and his Bassett Hound, Fred, living on the property. They always bring a smile to my face.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
I live in Redwood Cove, a quaint town on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It’s a very different setting from the horse and cattle ranch I grew up on in Wyoming. I never tire of watching the sea with its constant movement and crashing waves.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
Janet decided she’d put dogs with special training into each of the books. The Basset Hound I mentioned earlier, Fred, debuts in the first book, and appears throughout the series. He was trained to detect cancer but failed his test and was given to ten-year-old Tommy as a pet. In addition to Fred, a different dog is featured in each of the other books as well. In Murder in the Wine Country, for instance, Rex, a cattle dog, is a seizure alert dog. Other types of dogs in the series include two trained in hearing assistance and a diabetic alert dog. First and foremost, the books are mysteries. However, it’s been fun for me to interact with dogs, and they have helped me on a number of occasions as I have worked on solving the crimes that appear in each book.
I hope you’ll come join me in Redwood Cove!
Thanks for answering my questions, Kelly, and good luck with Murder in the Wine Country, the latest book in the Kelly Jackson Mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Janet Finsilver: Janet is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Five books followed with her most recent release on April 28, 2020, of book six, MURDER IN THE WINE COUNTRY. Janet Finsilver and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys cooking, and a recent attempt to reduce the number of cookbooks in the cupboard wasn’t very successful. She’s an avid reader—of course!